Smith Presses Mull on location/disposition of Iran nuclear materialAdministration Admits Not Knowing Where Iranian Nuclear Material Is
During a hearing on Iran nuclear deal compliance before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs today, Ambassador Stephen D. Mull, Lead Coordinator for Iran Nuclear Implementation, admitted that the Administration does not know the whereabouts of nuclear material transferred from Iran to its ally Russia.
Under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action that is supposed to end the Iranian nuclear threat, Iran is supposed to turn over all of its nuclear material to Russia. In his testimony, Mull said: “Pre-JCPOA, Iran had approximately 12,000 kilograms of enriched uranium. Now, Iran can have no more than 300 kilograms of up to 3.67% enriched uranium for the next 15 years.”
Unfortunately, under questioning by U.S. Representative Chris Smith (NJ-04), who was chairing the hearing at that point, Mull admitted that the exact location and disposition of the Iranian nuclear material is unknown.
“This is an outrageous and unbelievable situation. Not only was it questionable in the first place for Russia–a close ally of Iran–to be the repository for that nuclear material, but apparently there is no requirement under the agreement the Administration negotiated for the Russians to notify the International Atomic Energy Agency or any of the negotiating nations about where the nuclear material is, where it will be stored or under what conditions it will be safeguarded,” Smith said. “This cannot be allowed to stand.”
Smith has been very involved in Iran issues during the past few years, including advocating for the release of Americans imprisoned in Iran. Even after the release of five Americans from Iranian prisons last month, Smith remains very concerned about the ongoing disappearance of American Robert Levinson, missing in Iran since 2007. Levinson was not included in the January release of American prisoners, and the Iranian government denies knowledge of his whereabouts. Smith has called on the U.S. government to continue to press Iran on the Levinson case.